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ANKARA, October 2 (Itar-Tass) — Turkey has refused to prolong a gas contract with Russia, Turkey’s state Anatolian news agency reported on Saturday.
“Turkey has annulled a gas contract with Russia because we’ve failed to agree on discount for fuel delivery,” Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz told the news agency.
Turkey refused to extend a contract for the purchase of Russian gas that is delivered via the western corridor through the Balkans. The Turkish minister of energy and natural resources mentioned the possibility of not extending the contract as early as last Thursday. He stressed that the future of the gas contract depended on whether Moscow was going to agree to discounts requested by Ankara. The minister added that Turkey would annul the contract and would hand over the question of gas purchases to private companies. The Turkish-Russian contract for gas deliveries officially expires at the end of 2011.
He added that the decision was not going to affect the relations between the two countries.
Taner Yildiz said the decision was not going to affect relations between the two countries and added that not all contracts with Russian had been annulled.
“We have three or four gas purchase contracts with Russia. One of them has expired and hasn’t been prolonged. This fact is unlikely to cause any problems. The private sector will partly continue gas purchases. It can, if it wants, to sign a contract with the Russian side in future,” Yildiz stressed.
The deal was struck in 1986. It was supposed to expire this December. The Botas Corporation is the chief importer of Russian gas. Turkey also receives Russian gas from other sources, including the Blue Stream pipeline.
Taner Yildiz said that apart from Russia, Turkey received gas via pipelines from Iran and Azerbaijan and liquefied gas from Nigeria and Algeria. He added that the Turkish domestic market was not going to be affected by the latest break of the gas contract with Russia and wouldn’t face any price hikes for fuel though quite recently the Turkish authorities have announced an increase of internal tariffs for gas.